Flemish government announces 2.2 billion in savings

Flemish finance minister Matthias Diependaele (Flemish nationalist) has given details of his government’s budgetary plans. Next year the budget deficit will stand at 436 million euros, while savings worth 2.2 billion euros will be needed in following years.

In following years the budget will be balanced with a small surplus of 74 million by 2024. The figures also reveal where the government plans to make savings. The new Flemish government plans fresh investments worth 1.65 billion euros and savings worth 2.2 billion.  By 2024 350 million euros will be spent on the job bonus that will mean that low paid workers retain more cash in their pay packet after tax encouraging more people to take a job.  270 million is being spent on cutting waiting lists in the handicapped care sector.  250 million goes on extra spending on education and a similar amount on research and development.

The Flemish government will make savings by not increasing its own funding in line with inflation. The greatest cuts will be achieved by 2024. Subsidies will be cut by 179 million with a further 75 million saved on the public wage bill.   A further 625 million will be raised by tax reforms, mainly as a result of the phasing out of mortgage relief.  By 2024 this measure should raise 328 million. The cut in taxes on buying a house will cost 140 million. 100 million euro worth of savings will be made in secondary education and a further 107 million is raised as a result of the decision not to raise child allowance in line with inflation.  A range of other measures should raise 600 million. These include higher road charging for lorries.